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TC West Embarks on State Semifinals

TRAVERSE CITY – An already historic season continues for the Traverse City West baseball program this week.

After capturing the program’s first regional title with wins over ranked Saginaw Heritage and Bay City Western last Saturday, the No. 9 Titans (41-2) eliminated their third ranked opponent of the state tournament, rallying for a 5-4 win over No. 4 Rockford in a Division 1 quarterfinal on Tuesday.

Now, with a district and regional championship in tow, West looks to become the first Traverse City school since St. Francis captured the 1990 Class D title to win a state championship when it takes on unranked Warren DeLaSalle in a semifinal Thursday at Michigan State.

“I’m extremely proud of this ball club, you know they have nothing to hang their heads about win or lose,” West coach Matt Bocian said. “They should be proud of themselves and the way they play. Their character is defined in that and how they play the game. So that is something we are proud of.”

Bocian credits his team’s success to the Titans having a ‘next man up’ attitude.

“I think it’s an overall effort, it’s not just one kid throughout the season,” he said. “We’ve had 41 wins now and when somebody isn’t playing well somebody else is stepping up. Keegan Kenny pitched his tail off… pitched a complete game, did not want to come out of the game and was going on nothing but adrenaline. He was just a bulldog on the mound and got put in some jams and we worked our way out of it that basically sums in up”

DeLaSalle is no stranger to this stage having won three state championships (1993, 2000, 2009) and a runner-up finish in 2012.

Thursday’s second semifinal pits defending state champion Hartland against second-ranked Saline.

First pitch from McLane Baseball Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m.